Learning to Drive review

Patricia Clarkson and Ben Kingsley in Learning to Drive
Patricia Clarkson and Ben Kingsley in Learning to Drive

It's been too long since I last savoured the delights of Patricia Clarkson on screen, an actor who never fails to deliver.

Of course she does just that here as Wendy, a Manhattan book critic ditched by her cheating husband after 20 years of marriage.

Learning to stand on her own two feet also means learning to drive, and Ben Kingsley plays the quietly-spoken Indian driving instructor Darwan who takes on the task of teaching her.

Two people from vastly different backgrounds living very different lives in the same melting pot of a city, they find more common ground than they could ever have imagined, and over many hours spent navigating the perils of New York traffic, become fast friends.

Preconceptions, misconceptions, facing up to your fears, much ground is covered and much mileage racked up, most of it behind the wheel and all of it a reflection of the mileage on our two wonderfully nuanced protaganists.

Kingsley's performance is a masterclass of restraint, offsetting Clarkson's more volatile feistiness deliciously.

This is a gently woven story; small yet nourishing, and well worth the ticket price.

Three-and-a-half stars.

3 News

     Learning to Drive:: Director: Isabel Coixet:: Starring: Ben Kingsley, Patricia Clarkson, Grace Gummer, Jake Weber, Sarita Choudhury, Samantha Bee:: Rating: M - Sex scenes, offensive language and drug use:: Running Time: 105 minutes:: Release Date: July 16, 2015

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